Feeling The Steel Panther: Interview with Michael Starr

Lock up your daughters—and your mothers, for that matter! Steel Panther is about to be unleashed! Their long-awaited debut CD, Feel The Steel, is finally about to hit stores after 20 years in the making. For those of you scratching your heads wondering who the hell Steel Panther is, they were the Crüe before there was a Mötley Crüe, they had the poise before there was a Poison, and they were banging groupies before the word “groupie” was even invented. So, why haven’t you heard of them? Because at the height of their popularity in the early ‘80s out in Los Angeles, Steel Panther just disappeared! The band was booked to perform at a showcase in front of every major record label in the country and they never showed, allowing Jane’s Addiction to get signed.

Twenty years later, Steel Panther has resurged on the L.A. music scene playing covers under the name Metal Skool and selling out the Key Club every week and developing a large celebrity following. This led to Metal Skool performing in Las Vegas every weekend, which is where I caught their show. As their popularity grew, they decided to add some original songs into their cover sets. It wasn’t long until someone noticed that Metal Skool was actually the legendary Steel Panther! Soon after, Universal Republic President Monte Lipman was knocking down their door handing them a rightfully deserved record contract.

This October will mark the official return of Steel Panther carrying their debut CD, Feel The Steel, featuring the popular “Death To All But Metal” debut single, “Community Property,” the catchy “Asian Hooker,” YouTube hit “Fat Girl (Thar She Blows),” and my favorite “The Shocker.” Steel Panther is comprised of Michael Starr (vocals), Satchel (guitar), Lexxi Foxx (bass), and Stix Zadinia (drums). The band recruited some of their celebrity friends to help them in recording Feel The Steel. Allison Robertson of The Donnas and Justin Hawkins from The Darkness joined them on their song “Party All Day (Fuck All Night),” while M. Shadows from Avenged Sevenfold lends his voice to “Turn Out The Lights.” Anthrax’s Scott Ian joined them on “Asian Hooker” while Slipknot’s Corey Taylor appeared on “Eyes Of A Panther” and “Death To All But Metal.” Much to my surprise, I recently got a phone call from Steel Panther singer Michael Starr to talk more about the band. Here’s what he had to say:

Hey Michael! I had the chance to see you out in Vegas back in May where I became a huge Steel Panther fan! I have to say that you guys just bleed awesomeness!

And we’re way better than that band Metal Skool! The singer was hot, but the rest of the band sucked!

Now, the CD Feel The Steel comes out in October. Is there a favorite song on the CD?

Not really. I like them all, honestly! We’ve been writing them and working on them for fuckin’ 20 years, so they’ve pretty much grown on me, but right now at this moment, my favorite song is “Eatin’ Ain’t Cheatin’.”

Are most of these songs based on personal experiences?

They all are actually. That’s what makes them so real, and that’s why people are so drawn to them because they’re experiences that we’ve gone through as a band. It was really fun going through those experiences, but also really challenging. The drugs helped with that though!

Your first single off of the CD is ‘Community Property.’ Which member is that song based on?

Actually, our first single is ‘Death To All But Metal,’ but it was so dirty that a lot of people couldn’t play it on the radio. So, we put out a song called ‘Community Property’ which is basically about everybody who has a girlfriend. It says to be honest with your girl. You just let her know up front, ‘Look, I love you, but when I go on the road, I’m going to cheat on you!’ That way you’re straight up with her and she knows what’s going on. Or you can just go the lying route, which works too!

Going back to ‘Death To All But Metal,’ you kind of bash many fellow musicians. Has their been any negative reaction to the song?

Not really. I ran into Jacoby Shaddix from Papa Roach and he was a little bummed, but I told him that’s what happens when you fuck my mom!